Every year, ASIS International passes the torch of its presidency to another member of its board of directors – 2012 saw the first international president of ASIS International, Eduard Emde. 2013’s president, Geoff Craighead – the Australian-born vice president of Universal Service Protection – is planning to continue the promotion of the many international components of the organization.

I had the opportunity to sit down with both Emde and Craighead today to discuss their two presidencies, initiatives and goals for ASIS International.

“I have had three priorities [during my term],” says Emde. “Member focus; visibly global and inclusive outreach, especially to other fields with an interest in security; and turning up the volume for ASIS International.”

As the first international president, Emde has roamed the globe during 2012, flying to roughly 25 countries to visit local chapters, attend conferences and host meetings.

“Everywhere I go,” he says, “People have lots of emotional attachment to ASIS. People forget that we are an organization of individuals – employers do not force us to join; this is an individual’s volunteer work.”

All-in-all, ASIS International has 228 chapters across 64 countries, and 38,000 members. And while incoming president Craighead isn’t planning on jet setting quite as much as Emde, he does want to visit his home country of Australia, especially to encourage and enhance the work of the six chapters located there.

“We really value the work our members do abroad,” Craighead says, “And we want to support them any way we can.”

Craighead also notes that his goals for ASIS in 2013 include the continuing effort for current standards and guidelines, which is a movement that has continued for a decade, as well as the added inclusion of young professionals and women in the security industry through groups and panels held at various conferences all year.

“We’re always refining what we’re doing,” he says. “Our objectives are established, debated and reviewed annually, so we stay current.”

And speaking of current affairs, both Emde and Craighead noted that 2013 needs to have a strong, industry-wide focus on cyber security, especially following keynote speeches from U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and former defense secretary Robert Gates, both of whom spoke on the urgency required for stopping cybercrime.

“Many current issues like this were predicted,” says Emde, “Just in labs and theory. But last year, we had Stux-Net... Things happened to big organizations in real life.

“ASIS is cognizant of the fact that traditional and information security are overlapping,” he adds. “This is why we have (ISC)2 co-located – they offer a lot of information security education that helps IT professionals be in a position to work with security.”

So when ASIS International formally hands off the presidency in January, be on the lookout for a focus on standard development and a commitment to follow-up on all of the organization’s commitments to its members and its chapters.


We had a great time at the show this year, and we hope to see all of you at next year’s exhibition in Chicago, Security Magazine’s hometown!